Broward County

Broward Seeks to Reduce Prosecution for Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession: Report

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A Broward prosecutor had told county law enforcement not to refer misdemeanor marijuana cases for prosecution, according to a new report.

Wednesday's report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor sent a memo to local police agencies encouraging them to reconsider referring people found with less than 20 grams of marijuana for prosecution.

"Prosecuting these cases has no public safety value and is a costly and counterproductive use of limited resources," Pryor wrote in the memo, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Pryor suggested referring the violators to drug-treatment programs rather than arresting them.

Pryor also noted that prosecutors could consider misdemeanor charges for marijuana when other crimes are alleged at the same time, and officers could still conduct legal searches based on suspicions of marijuana possession.

Existing misdemeanor marijuana cases in Broward will be examined under the new policy of not pursuing charges. Pryor said that the changes were "in keeping with changing public attitudes on marijuana use in general," according to the report.

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